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Weekly PA Environment Digest Newsletter
December 3, 2018 Issue #753
(12/3/2018)
* PA Supreme Court Upholds Decision Striking Down Protection Of School Property, Playgrounds, Species Of Special Concern In DEP Drilling Permit Process

On November 28, the PA Supreme Court let stand an August Commonwealth Court decision which struck down provisions in DEP’s Chapter 78a(f) and (g) unconventional drilling regulations defining “common areas of a school’s property and playgrounds,” and “species of special concern” as public resources to be protected during the permit review process under Act 13 of 2012.

* DEP Advisory Committee Meets Dec. 13 To Discuss Reg Limiting Emissions From Existing Oil & Gas Operations; Update On PA Air Quality

DEP’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet December 13 on a draft regulation to set limits on volatile organic compound emissions-- with the “co-benefit” of reducing methane emissions-- from existing well sites, pumps, storage and other equipment at oil and gas facilities.

* Allegheny Institute: Time To Tighten Reporting On How Local Governments Spend Act 13 Shale Gas Drilling Fee Revenue

On November 28, the Allegheny Institute For Public Policy in Pittsburgh released this Policy Brief-- Time To Tighten Act 13 Reporting-- on local government accountability for spending Act 13 shale gas drilling impact fee revenue--

* Clean Air Council, Widener Law & Sustainability Center, 61 Others Petition EQB To Set Up A Cap-And-Trade Program To Reduce PA Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On November 27, Robert B. McKinstry, Jr., the Clean Air Council, Widener University Environmental Law and Sustainability Center, eco(n)law LLC and 61 other individuals, groups, businesses and local governments submitted a rulemaking petition to the Environment Quality Board to establish a market-based cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emission reduction program that eliminates those emissions from major sources by 2052.

* Senate Climate Change Hearing: In The Absence Of Federal Leadership, PA Must Act

On November 28, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing in Pittsburgh on local and state efforts to address climate change.

* DEP Climate Change Advisory Committee Meets Dec. 4 To Review Draft Recommendations For Climate Plan Update

DEP’s Climate Change Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on December 4 to review the draft 2018 PA Climate Action Plan and recommendations as well as an updated Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory.

* Nuclear Energy Caucus Releases Report On The Impact Of Closing Nuclear Power Plants, Possible Solutions

On November 29, Senators Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) and John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) along with Representatives Becky Corbin (R-Chester) and Rob Matzie (D-Allegheny), co-chairs of the Senate-House Nuclear Energy Caucus released a report summarizing their findings on the impact of closing nuclear power plants in Pennsylvania and outlining potential solutions.

* University Of Pittsburgh To Purchase Hydropower From Proposed Allegheny River Lock & Dam #2 Hydroplant

On November 29, the University of Pittsburgh announced the first major commitment to renewable energy will utilize the Allegheny River as the source of clean, local and long term electricity for the campus.

* Inspections Find 96% Of Small Farms In PA Making Good Strides To Improve Water Quality In Chesapeake Bay Watershed

On November 29, the Department of Environmental Protection reported inspections found 96 percent of almost 3,000 small farms visited in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed were meeting state requirements for water quality planning.

* Environmental Groups Deliver 4,038 Signatures To Gov. Wolf Urging Him To Prioritize Delaware River Basin

On November 28, Pennsylvania members of the National Wildlife Federation’s 4 The Delaware Campaign delivered 4,038 signatures on a petition to Gov. Tom Wolf urging him to help create a new vision, prioritize resources, and further watershed-wide planning for the Delaware River Basin by attending a summit in 2019 with all four governors.

* DEP Awards $1.6 Million In Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Grants In Western PA

On November 28, the Department of Environmental Protection awarded $1.6 million to support 7 projects in Western Pennsylvania to treat acid mine drainage.

* American Rivers Receives Stroud Water Research Center Award For Freshwater Excellence

On November 29, Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County presented the 2018 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence to American Rivers and its president and CEO, Wm. Robert (Bob) Irvin, at the Stroud Center’s premiere fundraising gala, The Water’s Edge.

* Voting Now Open For 2019 Pennsylvania River Of The Year

On November 27, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers open public voting for the 2019 Pennsylvania River of the Year.  The deadline for voting is January 4.

* PUC #UtilityCareers Campaign Earns International Recognition

On November 30, the Public Utility Commission announced it has received international recognition-- the 2018 MarCom Gold Award-- for creative communications showcasing the PUC’s ongoing #UtilityCareers campaign.

* Agriculture, Military Affairs Kick Off Trees For Troops Donation Weekend

On November 30, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Maj. Gen. Tony Carelli, Pennsylvania’s Adjutant General and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, helped kick off the 2018 Trees for Troops weekend, encouraging Pennsylvanians to donate Christmas trees to active-duty military and their families.

* Senate/House Agenda/Session Schedule[Updated]/Gov’s Schedule

Here are the Senate and House Calendars for the next voting session day and Committees scheduling action on bills of interest as well as a list of new environmental bills introduced--

* Federal Storm Recovery Aid Approved For Portions Of Pennsylvania

On November 27, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the federal government has granted his request for Public Assistance to reimburse state agencies, county and municipal governments and other eligible private non-profits for costs associated with severe storms that brought heavy rainfall and severe flash flooding to parts of Pennsylvania from August 10 to 15, 2018.

* DEP To Host 2nd Information Session On Swoyersville Culm Bank Reclamation Project Dec. 5 In Luzerne County

On November 26, Department of Environmental Protection announced it will host a follow-up information session on December 5 regarding the Swoyersville Culm Bank Removal Project in Luzerne County.

* NRCS-PA Accepting Applications For Farm, Forest Owner Conservation Assistance In Central, Southeast PA

On November 29, the Natural Resource Conservation Service-PA announced it is now accepting applications from agricultural producers in targeted areas in central and southeastern Pennsylvania for funding to help improve water quality, enhance soil health, and protect agricultural viability through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

* Penn State Extension: Farm Soil Health & Cover Crop Workshops Coming Up

Soil Health And Cover Crops Workshops are coming up in December and January across the state for agriculture producers. The first workshops will be held December 17 in York County and January 10 in Mercer County.

* MS4 Stormwater Education Resources Available To Local Officials

To help them meet MS4 stormwater pollution reduction education requirements, local public officials can look to Penn State Extension for stormwater education resources.

* Penn State Extension: Teaching Youth About Water Continues To Be A High Priority

By: Jennifer Fetter, Extension Educator, Renewable Natural Resources

* Wildlife Leadership Academy Seeks Motivated Students To Become Youth Conservation Ambassadors

The Wildlife Leadership Academy in Union County has opened its exclusive Youth Conservation Ambassador nomination process to the public and is currently seeking referrals of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors.

* PennDOT Public-Private Partnership Program Requests Wetlands Mitigation Banking Proposals

On November 27, the Department of Transportation announced it is issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) to solicit a private partner to develop a wetlands mitigation banking project in southeastern Pennsylvania.

* DEP Advisory Committees Meet Dec. 12 To Continue Discussion On Changes To Act 101 Municipal Recycling Program

DEP’s Solid Waste Advisory & Recycling Fund Advisory Committees are scheduled to meet on December 12 to continue their discussion of proposed changes to the municipal waste recycling program and Act 101.

* Fresh Paint Days Grants Help Community Improvement Projects In Monroe, Philadelphia, Westmoreland Counties

This fall, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, in partnership with The Home Depot and Behr, gave eight community groups paint and painting supplies as part of the 2018 Fresh Paint Days PA Program enabling them to renew a community structure in need.

* EPA Settles Lead Safe Renovation Violations With Chester County Contractor

On November 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Chapman Windows and Doors of West Chester, Chester County will pay a $17,500 penalty to resolve alleged violations of the lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule.

* Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, Cleanup Grant Applications Due To EPA Jan. 31

The U.S. Environmental Protection agency is now accepting applications for FY19 Brownfields Assessment, Cleanup and Multipurpose Grants.  The deadline for applications is January 31.

* EPA Accepting Applications For Environmental Justice Small Grants, Application Assistance Calls Scheduled

The U.S. Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for its Environmental Justice Small Grants Program.  The deadline for applications is February 15.

* DEP Invites Comments On Acid Rain Permit For Jessup Natural Gas Power Plant, Lackawanna County

The Department of Environmental Protection invites comments on a proposed Acid Rain Air Quality Permit for the Lackawanna Energy Center natural gas power plant in Lackawanna County (Dec. 1 PA Bulletin, page 7460)

* DEP: New Location For Dec. 4 Bucks County Hearing On 2 New Adelphia Natural Gas Pipeline Compressor Stations In Bucks, Delaware Counties

On November 30, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has changed the location of the Bucks County hearing-- one of the 2 public hearings DEP scheduled on the Air Quality Permits needed for 2 new natural gas compressor stations on the Adelphia Pipeline in West Rockhill Township, Bucks County and Lower Chichester Township, Delaware County. (Nov. 3 PA Bulletin, page 7012)

* 43 Mayors From Pennsylvania, Plus All 50 States Call For More Solar Energy

On November 27, mayors from every U.S. state including 43 mayors from Pennsylvania embraced a vision for more solar energy in their communities, as outlined in a national letter released by the PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center.

* Groundbreaking Held For Multimodal Project To Improve Safety, Connectivity Around Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County

On November 28, Department of Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources  Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn  joined PennDOT regional, park, and local officials to break ground on the Ohiopyle Intermodal Gateway project.

* State, Local Officials Celebrate Opening Of S.H. Rothermel Walking Trail In Mifflin County

On November 28, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Lauren Imgrund joined local leaders to celebrate the grand opening and dedication of the S.H. Rothermel Walking Trail in Lewistown, Mifflin County.

* DCNR Uses Electric Motorcycles At Presque Isle, Delaware Canal State Parks To Reduce Carbon Footprint

On November 26, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced electric motorcycles are in use as part of public safety and operations at two state parks in Pennsylvania.

* State Agencies Provide Year-End Update On Spotted Lanternfly

On November 26, Department of Agriculture provided a year-end update on the state’s efforts to control the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly, and joined the Game Commission and Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks), Minority Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, to encourage hunters to take action by scraping Spotted Lanternfly egg masses  while they are out hunting.

* PA Environmental Council: Statewide Reforestation Partnership Takes Root

By Laura Bray, West Region Program Coordinator

* Western PA Conservancy: Trees For Johnstown, Cambria County

Trees for Johnstown is a multi-phase project of the Western PA Conservancy in partnership with the City of Johnstown and the Johnstown Shade Tree Commission in Cambria County.

* Penn State Extension Woods In Your Backyard Webinar Series For Forest Landowners

A new 8-part Woods In Your Backyard Webinar Series by Penn State Extension and its partners will teach forest landowners sustainable stewardship skills and techniques for managing their land.

* PA Sea Grant, Lake Erie Region Conservancy Receive DCNR Grants To Preserve 270 Acres Of Farmland

On November 26, Pennsylvania Sea Grant and the Lake Erie Region Conservancy proudly announce the award of two DCNR grants to permanently preserves 270 acres on two farms in Erie County.

* DCNR Now Hiring Young Adults For PA Outdoor Corps Crews In Locations Around PA

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps is now hiring for its 10-month young adult crews. Running March 4 to December 6, 2019, the program aims to introduce young people to careers in the outdoors.

* PA Parks & Forests Foundation Offers Young, Seniors Access To Outdoors Scholarships

Thanks to Wilderness Wheels, a new PA Parks and Forest Foundation donor-funded transportation scholarship program that offers students and seniors access to the outdoors.

* Citizen Science Opportunity: Join Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count Dec. 14 - Jan. 5

Love birdwatching? Consider signing up to participate in a National Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count near you! 

* Nov. 29 Resource Newsletter Now Available From DCNR

The November 29 Resource newsletter is now available from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources featuring stories on--

* Ned Smith Center For Nature And Art Offers New Exhibit Of Ned Smith's Work In Dauphin County

Working Together Through Time is the title of an exhibit on display through January at the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art in Millersburg, Dauphin County and a description that truly embodies well-known artist Ned Smith’s nearly lifelong association with the Game Commission.

* Natural Lands Names Oliver Bass New President

On November 26, Delaware County-based Natural Lands announced Oliver Bass will become its next president effective January 1. Bass, currently vice president of communications and engagement, succeeds Molly Morrison, who will retire at the end of the year after a 14-year tenure in the role.

* Environmental NewsClips - All Topics

Here are NewsClips from around the state on all environmental topics, including General Environment, Budget, Marcellus Shale, Watershed Protection and much more.

* Public Participation Opportunities/Calendar Of Events

This section lists House and Senate Committee meetings, DEP and other public hearings and meetings and other interesting environmental events.

* Grants & Awards

This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for awards and grants and other recognition programs.  NEW means new from last week.

* Regulations, Technical Guidance & Permits

Here are highlights of actions taken by agencies on environmental regulations, technical guidance and permits.

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CLICK HERE to View or Print the entire PA Environment Digest.  This Digest is 82 pages long.

* Stories Invited - About PA Environment Digest

Send your stories, photos and links to videos about your project, environmental issues or programs for publication in the PA Environment Digest to: PaEnviroDigest@gmail.com.

* Sponsor: 2019 PA/National Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference

PA Environment Digest is proud to be a sponsor of the 2019 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation and National Abandoned Mine Lands Program Conference to be held in Pittsburgh on September 8-11.

* Supporting Member PA Outdoor Writers Assn./PA Trout Unlimited

PA Environment Digest is a supporting member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Council Trout Unlimited and the Doc Fritchey Chapter Trout Unlimited.

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